Re-homing Chick

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by krista74, Oct 10, 2014.

  1. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a chick which will be 5 weeks old next week. He is the sole chick which hatched from the nest.

    His Momma is quite unwell I believe, and is not looking after him as well as she used to. I have found a new home for him on my Brother's farm.

    Is 5 weeks too young to re-home him? There are no other chicks where he is going, just 22 laying hens. He will have his own separate pen within the coop though.

    Will he be ok if I take him from his Momma at this age?

    Will his Momma be ok if I take him away?

    What would you all recommend to make the transition easier on both of them, whenever it may occur?

    His Momma does still want him and screams when I take him away, even for a moment. But I fear she is feeling so unwell in herself she can't pay the proper attention to him as she should. She no longer calls him for food, does not dust-bathe and just sits and sleeps. She does, however, stay close by him all day, and sleeps with him at night.

    Thanks in advance,

    Krista
     
  2. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Sounds like a normal 5 week old chick hen relationship to me. Most hens wean their chicks by the time they are 6 to 8 weeks old. Hens are notoriously un-emotional. I doubt that she will be devastated over the loss of her only son but give her two more weeks if it will make you feel better.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2014
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    She'll get over it quickly. Chickens seem to have short memories. If she seems upset, it's more because something changed, not so much that she's missing her baby. This is about the age where, as stated above, they start weaning - or breaking away from - their chicks.
     
  4. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, I am probably over-thinking it and need to get more into the mind-set of "It's just a chicken." I know it's going to a good home so I should be grateful it's not headed for the soup-pot as so many young cockerels are.


    It's going to be harder for me than for the chickens I suspect! He is my first chick (and Momma's first chick too) so that makes it especially difficult for me. I guess I just have to toughen up. I am going to rehome him in about 2 weeks I think - his new owners are setting up for him as we speak. I presume that Momma will just have a rough few days and then integrate back into the flock?

    Krista
     
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Pretty much.
     
  6. nayeli

    nayeli Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't rehome him to your brother. Chickens need company and if he has no other chickens to run with then it won't be good for him! Leave him with his mother til you can find a better plan!
     
  7. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I was not going to say anything, but I do agree with the above post. I would keep him near the two week old chicks and at least send a pair or a trio or even more to your brother in a couple of weeks. A solitary bird is a horrible integration, however solitary confinement is not a good solution either. It will be months as in 3-4 before he will be close to big enough to be with those hens. And because he has always been by himself, he won't know how to behave, and they will show little mercy.

    It is very hard on a chicken to be kept alone. They don't learn appropriate chicken behavior, they are a flock animal and need other birds around them. I hate it when people separate a rooster or another bird because they don't like the behavior, but can't dispatch them so keeps the poor bird all by himself.

    And I would not integrate a hen that is lethargic, not eating and sleeping back into the flock. Those are not good signs. The flock may terrorize her as they will think of her as a stranger, and she is weak.

    Mrs K
     
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  8. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The matter has been taken out of my hands now. Momma passed away today.

    My brother wants the chick and will offer him a good home. I don't know that keeping him here is the best option anyway. It seems there is little point to trying to integrate him here, and let him make friends with the other chicks, when he has to be wrenched away and relocated to my brother's farm in 2 months time anyway.

    My brother said he has set up a safe pen for him, within his main chicken coop. The 22 hens are quite docile and go in and out of the hen house all day, so Peepers will not be alone all day. His kids are going to spend time with him each day too. He will not take a second chick though, so unfortunately I can't send him with a friend.

    Please don't judge me too harshly, it has been such a sad day already losing the Momma, and now I have to say goodbye to Peepers.

    Krista

    Edited to add: I have decided to keep Peepers for an extra week before rehoming him, and teach him how to put himself to bed at night. This was after discovering him tonight, shivering and crying, outside his cat cage in the coop. I popped him inside it, wrapped him up warm, and patted him a bit until he calmed down. Maybe a week to settle him is not a bad idea?
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2014
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  9. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Please don't think anyone is judging you, we have all made mistakes and found solutions accidentally. There is just a learning curve to chickens, and with the best intentions and advice, we all just have to figure it out.

    Sorry about your loss, it is always hard, even for a tough old, long term chicken lady.

    Mrs K
     
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  10. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thankyou. I am trying to do the best I can for him. If only he had other hatch-mates to start with it would all be so much easier.

    Krista
     

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